Blog / News from Bob

Saving the Damsel/Dude in Distress Syndrome-Solution

Category : ,
Date : January 27, 2017

Saving the Damsel/Dude in Distress Syndrome symptoms are:


  1. The intense desire to rescue someone who may be seriously self-destructive, drug and or alcohol dependent, and/or a victim of perpetrator of domestic violence.
  2. You feel this damsel/dude will not be saved without your intervention.
  3. You believe no one else either cares enough or is honest enough to get involved in saving him.
  4. This intense desire to rescue is experienced as a desperate obsession.
  5. You spend an inordinate amount of time and energy planning your strategy to stop her self-destruction.
  6. You feel that all your friend/lover needs to do is to follow your direction and they will be saved.
  7. You are oblivious until much later that your friend/lover has no interest in following your soul saving plan.
  8. Your friend/lover ends up blaming you for his problems.
  9. Your friend/lover takes the perpetual victim position, but that doesn’t stop you from trying to save her.
  10. You come to understand that you are addicted to the drama that goes along with this pre-occupation.



How to deal with the damsel/dude in distress:

  1. You may need to end the relationship with him because you realize there is no possibility that he will change his self-destructive and hurtful ways. You conclude that this relationship is harmful to you and you need to end it before you suffer severe consequences. You also become aware that the excessive time you have spent on this relationship has prevented you from growing personally. You know that you have lost good friends because of your obsession with the damsel/dude.
  2. You may need to create strong boundaries between you and her. For instance, if you work with her, you only talk to her at work about work related issues.  If she is a family member, only see her at family gatherings and make small talk.
  3. You will benefit from taking care of yourself. Exercise regularly; get plenty of sleep and eat healthy foods.
  4. Attend Al-Anon(support group for families of alcoholics) and/or CODA(Codependency anonymous) meetings.
  5. You may learn that you are drawn to the dude/damsel in distress because you had to be a caretaker for one or both of your parents. We tend to become attracted to what we are familiar with. You can learn how to break this cycle.  You may also discover that you are attracted to them because you feel that saving the damsel/dude will bring love and acceptance from the world.  You may find that you are anxious much of the time and feel unloved by others and yourself.  You also learn that fixating on the damsel/dude issues allows you to avoid looking at your own sadness, anger, and worry.  You may come to understand that rescuing someone else is an effort to save yourself.   Exploring these issues in therapy will helpful. You will also learn to let go of this all-consuming need.

Please share your experiences here   Thanks!!!

Opt In Image
Letting Go of Grief
Move Your Body to Rock and Soul

Letting go of Grief: Move Your Body to Rock and Soul teaches you how to work through your losses. These losses could be the death of a loved one, the end of an important relationship or other trauma. Grief is an evolving process and you will learn what the term acceptance means. It means that you will always have the option of honoring your loss, but you don’t have to be continually consumed by it. In this book, you will learn to find a landing place in your heart for grief. You will learn to embrace the pain instead of being afraid of facing it.

Written by

Leave Your Comment